A Stockholm District Court has handed down its sentence against Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm, and he’ll be spared the whip, but little else. Assuming he ever turns up, he’ll be forced to serve a one year jail sentence and pony up a cool $1.1 million to pay off his debt to society. Svartholm’s fate was decided separately from his fellow Pirate Bay crew as a result of medical complications that prevented him from attending the original trial; however, these same complications prevented him from attending the new proceedings as well. As if being sentenced to a prison term without being present wasn’t bizarre enough, Svartholm’s lawyer admits he has no clue where is client is, or even if he is dead or alive.
Back in 2009, the Swedish courts handed down a conviction to the operators of The Pirate Bay. Those three defendants were each sentenced to one year in jail, as well as a $1.1 million fine for contributing to copyright infringement. The trio have been appealing their case ever since, but a fourth defendant was not included in the initial verdict. Co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm was apparently too ill to attend trial, so his case was suspended. Now, the Swedish courts have gotten tired of waiting.
Select members of Congress are trying to convince advertisers to join the fight in stifling piracy on the Web. Leading the charge is the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus, which has taken pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and written letters to three prominent advertising agencies asking that they refuse to pay websites thought to be serving up illegal software.
A Belgian appeals court has ordered two Belgian ISPs to begin blocking The Pirate Bay or face fines. The ruling comes after a two year long court battle that originally had the ISPs protected from forced filtering. Now the ISPs have 14 days to comply with the ruling, but The Priate Bay says there is no reason for concern.
The music industry is sending out notices to suspected copyright infringers asking for money. And while this might sound like “business as usual”, a new report has confirmed they are indeed mixing things up a bit. Instead of demanding $3,000 or more per infraction, file-sharing monitoring firm Digital Rights Corp has confirmed they are taking the shotgun approach to finding the guilty, asking for a mere $10 a pop.
The most used BitTorrent client in the world is uTorrent, and its developers have just rolled an impressive new feature out in the most recent alpha. This version of the program has integration with Android, iOS, XBox, and PS3 devices. Users will be able to easily sync downloaded content to their devices with this update.
Piracy is a problem for game developers of all sizes, and is an issue that continues to plague the industry. How each studio chooses to handle the inevitable horde of people willing to rip them off however varies pretty dramatically. Companies such as Ubisoft have chosen to tackle the problem by layering on gobs of restrictive DRM, while other more creative Indie developers have chosen a new approach, humiliation.
Almost half of the computer users in the world are criminals; no good, stinkin’ pirates who pilfer programs they don’t hold the proper licenses for. At least, that’s what the Business Software Alliance (a trade group whose entire purpose is stopping the use of pirated software) says after conducting a 15,000 user study in 32 countries. You’re probably a hypocrite, too – at least according to the BSA numbers.
To file-swapping pirates, the terms “free download” and “Shady Russian warez sites” are almost interchangeable – and the US government knows it. Washington’s exerted a lot of pressure on Moscow in an effort to shut down numerous sites (most notably allofmp3.com) that infringed on the copyrights of US citizens and companies. But hold your horses! At least one Russian minister thinks top US sites like YouTube (and Google, YouTube’s parent company) regularly violate Russian intellectual property laws, too.
A 70-year-old grandmother and retired widow from San Francisco accussed of illegally downloading and sharing a porn movie via BitTorrent had the case against her dropped. According to reports, the over-aggressive law firm that pursued the case admits they targeted the elderly woman by mistake and claims to have now found the real guilty party.